Cynthia Sharpe

Principal, Cultural Attractions & Research

As Principal of Cultural Attractions and Research for Thinkwell Group, Cynthia is responsible for bringing guest behavior, museum, and education perspectives to Thinkwell projects.

Her twenty years of experience spans from permanent and traveling museum shows to multi-use destination resort planning, ranging from creative exhibition and curriculum development 
to experience assessments and strategic planning. Her work combines content, behavioral theory, best practices in pedagogy, and creative direction for a range of clients, including Google, Warner Bros., San Diego Zoo, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History, Universal Studios, and more. Cynthia has gained a reputation for combining creative approaches to exhibition and education development with a focused understanding of early childhood education, social networking and new media, and visitor behavior.


Prior to joining Thinkwell, Cynthia worked for the Museum of Science & Industry. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors in biology from Williams College, and a Master of Science in Genetics from the University of Chicago. Alongside an extensive list of publications, presentations, and panels, she has served on a variety of industry boards and is the recipient of the 2018 Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for executive leadership from the Association of Science-Technology Centers. In 2017, Cynthia co-founded Harriet B’s Daughters, a group that was created to mentor the next generation of themed entertainment and educational experience leadership and mindfully expand representation, inclusion, and diversity within guest experiences and creative content for cultural attractions, museums, and entertainment.


2018 ASTC Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Leadership, non-CEO
2013 Thea Award for Outstanding Attraction
2012 Thea Award for Outstanding Museum Exhibit
2011 Event Design Award for Best Museum Environment


Museum of Science and Industry, Manager of Temporary and Traveling Exhibits


Master of Science, Genetics, University of Chicago
Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Williams College

Memberships & Affiliations

Eastern Board Member, Themed Entertainment Association
Past Chair, Traveling Exhibition Network
Former member, IAAPA Museum and Science Center Committee

Speaking Engagements

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions
American Alliance of Museums
Association of Midwest Museums
Association of Science and Technology Centers
Creative Economy
TEA Summit